So that’s that.

[Please note:  if you click on a photo it will expand.  Then back arrow to close]

It’s now a few days since the end.  That sounds ominous – maybe, ‘since the finish’ would be better.  I’m feeling a bit more tired every day but other than that really good. Apart form the dodgy knee. And I’m sure that will be fine in a couple of days as well.

Huge thanks to my lovely wife, Jocelyn, who has kept the house together, the family alive and (more importantly) the blog running so excellently well.  And much thanks to my own mother who came down to stay and help out whilst I was on the road (well quite a bit of off road actually but you know what I mean).

One of the things that struck me on this route was the stark contrast between cycling peacefully along a canal path with nothing but ducks for company and then being instantly dumped on a frenetic A road, with cars and lorry rumbling past, rattling your teeth.  It’s a good analogy for coming back home.  You go from not having to think about anything other than pedalling, eating, drinking and sleeping to being bombarded with questions, demands, information and tasks.  They are normally there all the time but you grow so used to them you don’t necessarily notice.  When you’ve been out of real life for a while it hits you like a train.

So, it’s taken me this long to get to the blog.

I’ve uploaded some of the photos from the trip to add some colour to the previous posts so feel free to browse over them again.

My trip back to home (Ivybridge nr Plymouth) was long but nowhere near as long as the one up.  The John O’Groats Bike Transport Company picked me (and my bike) up from JOG at 10:00am on Sunday and whizzed me down to Inverness.  They dropped me at the airport and took my bike away to be boxed up and couriered to my house.  If I had required it, they would have also serviced it!  The bike was dispatched the next day and arrived the day after that, just in time to be cleaned, oiled and greased ready for commuting to work today.

I have to say I think it is the best solution to getting back from JOG if you haven’t got a support vehicle following you.  The John O’Groats Bike Transport Company do a fantastic job at getting you to Inverness and then you can select plane (my recommended option), train or one way hire car from there.

Me chilling at the airport – notepad around neck for easy access

I had to spend a few hours in the airport but after 8 days of cycling, sitting around is no bad thing.  Then a 50 minute hop to Manchester and a similar one on to Exeter where I was reunited with my lovely wife.

Clouds from above shortly after take off

This was a terrific trip which I thoroughly enjoyed.  Personally I think the Google map route was excellent.  It could be improved by re-routing a couple of sections, which I will endeavour to do.   Of course, I was on a racing geometry road bike – the only concession to the route I made was to put 25 mm Schwelbe Marathon tyres on.  If you rode an off road bike, a hybrid or a tour bike it would be even more doable.  But there are several places where you have to lift the bike up to shoulder level or above so if you are heavily loaded you would need to consider that.

All in all though – well done Google maps bicycle routing!

Leave a Reply